e-book Highway Odyssey: Traveling to, or Running From

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This drop creates a much larger window area for third-row passengers to look through, which helps make back seat travel in the Odyssey a pleasure instead of a pain. On the inside, the Odyssey is all business. The only nod to aesthetics in our test vehicle was the presence of a light beige interior color scheme. If that were absent, the cabin would be a spectrum of greys and blacks. There are no analog gauges behind the steering wheel. A push-button gear selector is present in place of a gear shift, and a flurry of physical buttons are located below the flush-mounted infotainment screen.

The Odyssey is the epitome of comfort. All of the seats, but especially the front ones, support a pain-free posture for comfortable long-haul motoring. The hip point of the seats — the height of the seat cushion relative to your hips when standing outside — is also perfect for people of average height, so entering is a matter of sliding in, not climbing up.

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Lastly, the third-row is a legitimately good space for anyone to occupy, even adults. Being a minivan, the Odyssey offers excellent cargo-carrying capabilities too. In particular, the third row of the Odyssey, which Honda calls the Magic Seat, is easiest to stow among all vehicles with three rows, and that includes ones with a power-folding feature.

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They do, however, have a unique sliding feature that lets you push the outboard seats closer to the middle or pull them out. Magic Slide, of course. With all of the rear seats either stowed or removed, the cargo area resembles a blimp hangar. By the tape, Honda says the Odyssey will fit cubic feet of cargo in this configuration, which makes it as useful for hauling things as a Ford F In terms of power, the Odyssey comes packing heat in the form of a high-tech 3.

It features cylinder deactivation technology that conserves fuel when operating under light loads, like highway cruising, and is backed by a speed automatic transmission. It may not sound like much of an advantage, but the more gears there are, the more likely the transmission can match the needs of any given situation, whether that be power or fuel-efficiency. The Odyssey also gets a nod for being the best-handling minivan. It avoids exaggerated body movements that plague many of its competitors during maneuvers as simple as exiting a highway or traversing train tracks.

One explanation might be its center of gravity CoG. This would explain it being more planted and less tippy in turns. The only other minivan that exhibits similar handling is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which for sure has the lowest CoG of any minivan because it carries hundreds of extra pounds of batteries beneath its floor. Equipment that just yesterday was being placed in lockers is now being thrown.

But in a masterful stroke of timing, Subero says he has one more announcement. But none has been more dominant than Tyler Wagner, 24, who has begun to remind LaTorre of Bumgarner after going with a 2. When Subero says, " The room explodes in celebration, and percent of the team mobs Wagner, whose blond beard is soaked in tears. There is no jealousy or envy visible here.


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The Shuckers have been saying the trip has turned them into a baseball brotherhood. This moment seems to prove it. The Brewers fly Wagner north the next day. First, he stops by a mall to buy some dress slacks and enough button-down shirts to last at least a week. Wagner takes the mound on Sunday in front of family, friends and 32, other Brewers fans. But with his Shuckers teammates watching on a small TV back in Tennessee, Wagner lasts less than four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits -- a heartbreaking debut.

By the end of May, the effects of the Biloxi Shuckers' historic game road trip hadn't shown up in the standings -- the Brewers' Double-A affiliate was in first place. But as Will Cain reports, the trip certainly impacted those surrounding the team. Afterward, Wagner is savoring some perfectly prepared filet mignon in the Brewers' clubhouse when manager Craig Counsell asks to see him.

The Ultimate American Road Trip, Highway Odyssey, Published by Outskirts Press

Because the game went 17 innings, the Brewers have already used their starter for tomorrow's game and are now in need of both a fresh arm and a roster spot to place it in. Wagner is back down in the sticks with the Shuckers on Monday with several unwrapped dress shirts. The Shuckers finish their series in Chattanooga with an win, powered by a home run, triple and four RBIs from outfielder Michael Reed, who will eventually be recognized as the Brewers' minor league player of the month.

No one wants to admit it, but from a developmental standpoint, Guerrero is exactly right -- the road trip has been hugely beneficial. The brutal road trip that just a month ago seemed like a colossal disaster in the making is actually turning into something of a dream season. Just as the benefits of this monster road trip are becoming clear to the team, the biggest news of the season trickles into the clubhouse and then spreads like wildfire: An eleventh-hour deal has been struck between the team and the town over additional stadium construction costs.

The June 6 debut in Biloxi is back on. Instead of five more weeks on the road, the Shuckers will be sleeping in their own beds in just five days -- as soon as they can get them out of storage, that is. Tonight is Fellhauer's first game back in the Shuckers' lineup. Standing at attention near third base, about 10 seconds into the national anthem, right around dawn's early light, Fellhauer's eyes fill with tears.

After the song, he turns to infielder Taylor Green and says, "Man, I almost lost it right there. I don't even know what to think or do right now. The first church the Fellhauers looked into for Julie's funeral service had only seats, and they all knew right away: not big enough. So they moved the service to a larger chapel, where the priest told Josh and Justin it was perfectly OK if they weren't up to speaking during the funeral. It doesn't have to be great or long, but get back up, get back moving -- do something.

Get back up, get back to Biloxi and start playing baseball again.

Highway Odyssey: Traveling to, or Running From

But by the third inning in Huntsville, he's more exhausted than he has ever been. He goes 0-for Before digging in, with his hands near his heart, clasped together in prayer but still wrapped around the bat handle, he pauses for a moment and tilts his face to the sky. In the second inning, he completes the ritual again and singles to right, bringing in two runners, and the Shuckers go on to win A few hours before the final game of the trip, Subero is taking on all challengers on a pingpong table wedged sideways into the hallway just down from the team's dugout.

Puerto Rico! I am working my way across the globe! Everyone is loose and happy and practically floating across the infield, especially Arcia, who dances his way around the cage while hitting five homers into the left-field seats during BP. Closer to game time, Subero opens his final speech of the journey by holding up a single finger. Someday, all of our careers in baseball will be over, but what you did the last 55 games -- the memories, the relationships, the camaraderie, the support -- that will last you forever.

A few moments later in his office, away from the players, Subero adds: "I don't want to ever do something like this again. But it really was a good test for all of us. I said this was going to be like a Roger Clemens split-finger fastball, but they ended up making it more like a hanging slider.

They crushed it out of the park. But in what will become a recurring theme over the next 24 hours, the baseball gods seem intent on keeping the Shuckers on the road for as long as possible: In the last game of the trip, the Shuckers and Barons head into extra innings. On the team's radio network, Harris uses the bonus time for a poignant history lesson on Regions Field. A baseball stadium built on this side of town won't help revitalize a thing, people said.

No one will come to this place just to watch minor league baseball. And now, three years later, the Barons have just welcomed their 1 millionth fan while construction cranes dot the landscape beyond the left-field fence. Could the same thing happen in Biloxi?


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You never know. Moments later, Kyle Wren, 0 for his last 9 in Birmingham, hits a liner to center to put Biloxi ahead in the 10th inning. When the Shuckers hold in the bottom of the 10th, Harris exhales into his mic, " Will Cain reports on the end of the Shuckers' epic road trip. The little green digital clock above the bus driver's head reads as the Shuckers circle the stadium and then head west on I Two hours later, after crossing into Mississippi, the bus makes a quick pit stop at a Love's gas station.

The players climb down off the bus and do that stiff-back waddle across the parking lot. Half the Shuckers head for the bathroom. The other half head for Arby's. After 54 games on the road, even their gastrointestinal habits are synced up. At , they pass the Dizzy Dean rest stop on I Closing in on 4 a.

The bus driver goes to the wrong entrance of the Beau Rivage, but a minute later, after two more right turns, he brings the vehicle to a halt outside the hotel's front door. The next afternoon, led by the Black Water Brass Band, featuring a bearded sax player sporting daisy dukes, hundreds of locals escort the team down Vieux Marche to the steps of the nearly opened MGM Park.

It's something of a miracle in this town: People have untethered themselves from their dog-leash-style retractable umbilical VIP Players Cards and come out of the casinos to watch baseball.

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The players scale what they think are the final steps of their journey Wren pushes his face through the blue metal grates and shouts, "Come on, let us in! The Shuckers backtrack down a ramp, through the crowd they just left and around to an unlocked side entrance. An hour before BP, a construction worker in an Atlanta Braves hat hammers down the last pieces of the Shuckers' dugout floor. Biloxi wins its opener over the BayBears with a walk-off single in the 14th inning that scores pinch-runner Suter, who is so excited when he rounds third that he runs behind Subero in the coach's box.

The next night, after the second home game in team history, Fellhauer walks to the Beau Rivage in the cool, quiet darkness. The crowd barricades from yesterday's festivities still line the streets, and he uses them occasionally to brace himself when the memories of his mom make him pause in his tracks. The hardest part of his day begins now, when the baseball ends and he finds himself alone, staring at his phone, waiting for the postgame text messages from Momma Felly he knows will never come. Later in the evening, at least, he'll be with his teammates, watching the NBA Finals.

It's hard to fathom, perhaps, but after two straight months on the road together, when they finally have the freedom and opportunity to go their separate ways, the Shuckers do the exact opposite. One epic road trip has come to a successful end.

Another, far tougher, journey is just beginning. Here, Martin Viramontes irons a shirt in his hotel room. He throws He's the Jays' No. He signed for millions. And he lives in a VW camper.